Dancing at Any Age
In her sixties herself, Rebecca Kimble Morse is going strong and wholeheartedly believes that there is no such thing as being too old to dance, though her career spans decades.
“I started out as a laundress in a big theatre in London, then became a dresser, then after some encouragement from the dancers, began auditioning for shows myself.” The stage seemed to suit her well. She began with the “Black and White Minstrel Show” in London, then went on to dance with Ballet Maxims and Leon Grieg. She even worked as a magician’s assistant, touring Canada with Ray Pierce as part of the levitation and slice box acts. After a move to Los Angeles, she started picking up more musical theatre roles in shows such as “The Entertainer”, “Guys and Dolls”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, and “Much Ado About Nothing”. She now competes in latin dance competitions and recently won the Portland championship in Pro Am Latin in her age group. A forever student, Rebecca is currently studying acting at Scott Rogers Studios in Portland, and will also be appearing in “Chicago” at the Brunish Theatre this spring.
When asked what has changed over her expansive career she says “For me, what changed is how I dance. Earlier in life I was more concerned about how it looked. Now, I dance from the inside out and see what I can bring out.” Adding acting to the mix has transformed things as well. “I love the artistic mash. Dance and acting compliment each other so well, having a bit of both helps me excel in each discipline.”
Rebecca’s current mission is to encourage more seniors to dance. “I think the biggest obstacle for seniors is that they believe that everyone in class is at a very high professional level, but there are actually plenty of classes for all ages and levels. And once they go, they realize that everyone is absorbed in their own process anyway.” Ballroom is her favorite place to start as she insists any age can do ballroom group classes. Dance With Joy has really great latin classes, as well as Ankeny Street Studio, DanceSportNW and Ballroom Dance Co in Tigard. Polaris has a classes specifically for seniors and she also recommends Stretch Appeal at BodyVox. The bottom line is that Portland has plenty to offer, and for someone who has lived 60+ years and been all over the place, Rebecca says “I think the arts in Portland are amazing, I can’t inhale them fast enough.”